Cover Crops: No-Till

Cover Crops: No-Till

Cover Crops: No-Till

Soil health benefits are often enhanced when using cover crops in combination with no-till.

Using Cover Crops to Convert to No-till


This fact sheet explains how growing cover crops can help farmers adapt faster to a continuous no-till system.

Download File (641.99 kB)

Cover Crops and No-Till Management for Organic Systems


This Rodale Institute fact sheet reviews the use of cover crops and no-till in organic systems, including selection, establishment and mechanical termination of cover crops; crop rotations; and energy and production budgets.

Download File (490.21 kB)

Adding Cover Crops to a No-Till System


South Dakota farm manager Dan Forgey has improved soil quality and the bottom line by successfully introducing cover crops to his long-term no-till system.

Grant Puts (Good) Crimp in Farm Operations


It all began in 2002 with a $6,500 SARE grant and the seed of an idea: a no-till tractor implement that rolls, crimps and kills cover crops, creating a weed suppressing mulch.

Spring Seedbed Characteristics after Winter-Killed Cover Crops


Dr. Ray Weil and Natalie Lounsbury have been investigating the possibility of no-till planting early spring vegetables such as spinach and lettuce after a forage radish cover crop without the use of herbicides. They discuss soil moisture, temperature and nutrient status in early spring as well as seedling emergence and yield.

Reduced Tillage and Cover Cropping Systems for Organic Vegetable Production


This information sheet captures research by Virginia Tech and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming to develop cover crop-based, reduced-tillage systems for organic vegetable production.

Download File (504.52 kB)

Invertebrate Pests and Their Natural Enemies in Conservation Tillage Cropping Systems


In this webinar by Dr. Mary Barbercheck and Maggie Douglas, learn the basics about key early-season insect and slug pests that can pose problems in conservation tillage systems with high amounts of cover crop residues and how crop management practices can help reduce pest damage. Also, learn about ongoing research into naturally-occurring predators of early season insects and slugs and how best to conserve them.

Optimizing Weed Suppression and Nutrient Use Efficiency in Cover Crop-Based No-Till Organic Corn


In this webinar, Hanna Poffenbarger of the University of Maryland and Steven Mirsky of the USDA-ARS Sustainable Agriculture Systems Lab discuss optimizing cover crop mixture composition and manure application to achieve weed suppression and adequate, efficient nitrogen delivery in a cover crop-based no-till corn system.

No-Till and Cover Crop Innovations Increase Dairy Profits


To help dairy farmers optimize overall forage production and quality, SARE-funded researchers led field trials and demonstrations in three New England states to determine the benefits of cover crops, no-till and shorter-season corn silage varieties. 

Integrating No-Till or Strip-Till with Cover Crops


Maximize soil conservation and soil health benefits of cover crops by combining this practice with no-till or strip-till systems.

Beyond Black Plastic


This publication explores sustainable, organic mulches such as cover crops and no-till and reduced tillage systems as alternatives to black plastic mulch for weed control. The booklet includes a discussion of the impact of organic mulches on soil quality and fertility, weed control, yields and waste production, and profitability for small to mid-size vegetable operations. 

Download File (1.51 MB)

Video: Reduced Tillage Systems for Organic Vegetable Production


In this video, Iowa State University graduate student, Dana Jokela, talks about the research he conducted through an NCR-SARE Graduate Student Grant to compare no tillage, strip tillage, and conventional tillage in the organic production of broccoli and bell pepper to determine their effects on yield, soil health, and cropping system profitability.

Also, visit SARE's database for reports on these research projects:

Dig deeper into cover crops research: SARE has funded hundreds of research and education projects related to cover crops since 1988. This topic room features only a glimpse into SARE's entire portfolio of cover crop research. To discover more, visit SARE's database of projects and conduct full text or advanced keyword searches.

Product specs
Format: Topic Rooms
Year: 2015
Location: North Central | Northeast | South | West

Farmers Say Cover Crops Work

cover image

From increasing yield to improving soil health, find out why farmers use cover crops. For four years, SARE and partner organizations have conducted a national survey of farmers on their experiences with cover crops.

2012-2013 Survey: Summary and report (PDF).

2013-2014 Survey: Summary and report (PDF).

2014-2015 Survey: Summary and report (PDF).

2015-2016 Survey: Summary and report (PDF)

Building Soils for Better Crops, 3rd Edition

Type: Book

Building Soils for Better Crops is a one-of-a-kind, practical guide to ecological soil management, now expanded and in full color.

Published: 2010
Pages: 294

Online Version: Free

Download File (6.76 MB)
Print Version:

Cover Crop Innovators Series

Watch short videos of innovative farmers from across the country describing how they have successfully added cover crops to their cash crop rotations. Learn more.